TE Darren Waller - Oakland Raiders
|6-6, 238||Born: 9-13-1992||College: Georgia Tech||Drafted: Round 6, pick 2015|
News you need to know
From the upgrade/downgrade report (Tue Nov 12): Waller's production has dipped in recent weeks, but the schedule of easy pass defenses should revive him soon. Don't give up.
Week 11: vs Cincinnati Bengals
FBG says: Good matchup. Built on short, low-impact passing, the Raiders air attack still doesn't frighten many opponents. But of late, it's been productive with volume, with Derek Carr throwing for 285+ yards in 3 of his last 4 games. He's clearly enjoying the team's newfound run game, which has greatly eased his pressure level. Still, Carr needs big volume to make any real fantasy noise. Through 9 games he ranks 22nd among qualifiers in air yardage, and he's only completed 4 passes of 40+ yards (seventh-fewest) on the year. When he does go downfield, most of his attention goes to Tyrell Williams, who has remained an elite deep threat upon his move to Oakland. Williams spends some time as a decoy and struggles for volume - he has yet to draw more than seven targets in a game - but is always a threat to slip past a napping cornerback. In other words, he's tailor-made for a matchup with the Bengals' overmatched secondary. Tight end Darren Waller commands heavy attention over the middle and in the flats, though rookie slot man Hunter Renfrow is working his way into the offense as well. He's out-targeted Waller 12-7 over the past 2 weeks, and the week before, he turned a short slant into a 68-yard touchdown. For his part, Waller is starting to draw the eyes of opposing defenses, but at least he's still making splash plays (3 catches of 20+ yards over the past 2 weeks). The Bengals still field one of football's weakest pass defenses, and they always make for an attractive fantasy matchup, especially when game flow allows. Lamar Jackson didn't need to test them much last week, but he did complete 15 of his 17 throws for 223 yards and 3 touchdowns. With that efficiency, Jackson added to the Bengals' woeful defensive stats - they've allowed the league's most net yards per attempt (8.3) and intercepted just 2 passes all year. If opponents had to throw more against the low-volume, 0-9 Bengals, they'd likely drive the count numbers up as well. Opposing passers find little resistance when they do push the ball down the field. Cornerbacks William Jackson and Tony McRae are typically ill-equipped to hold outside coverage, which has resulted in gobs of big downfield plays. As a team, the Bengals have allowed . But their biggest weaknesses actually lie inside, where slot man B.W. Webb is routinely picked on and beaten. Over the past 4 weeks, they've given up big lines to Cooper Kupp (220 yards and a touchdown), Dede Westbrook (103), and Mark Andrews (99 and 53, with 2 touchdowns). There are exploitable holes all over this unit, but Raiders tight end Darren Waller may have the most attractive outlook.
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs TE 1, TE 12, TE 24
Darren Waller's percentile rank in each category, among TE with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2019 Week 10 vs LAC (5 / 3 / 40 / 0 rec)
Waller played almost every snap but had a quiet game with Carr really spreading the ball around. He had the Raiders longest play of the game with a 27-yard catch down the left sideline. He faked like he was going to block then slipped out and sprinted down the field. He was able to make the grab despite taking a big hit from the safety who rotated over and was in position to break the pass up. Waller had a drop on a tight end screen.
2019 Week 9 vs DET (2 / 2 / 52 / 0 rec)
Waller's snaps and targets were lower in this matchup. He had played over 90% of the snaps in all but one game this season prior to logging 79% in this one. He had seen at least five targets in every game coming in and saw just two. He made the most of his limited opportunities, however. He caught a deep out for 31 yards on his first target. He picked up 21 yards on a crossing route, using his elite speed to run away from the safety trying to keep up with him. After the game, Jon Gruden noted that Waller is starting to see more double teams and teams are rolling coverages his way. "There's an old saying about, 'We're going to try to make you play left-handed,'" Gruden said about teams now trying to take away Waller. "We're seeing that, so we've tried to improve our left hand." The addition of Zay Jones, emergence of Hunter Renfrow, and return of Tyrell Williams combined with teams paying extra attention could lead to fewer targets moving forward.
2019 Week 8 vs HOU (8 / 2 / 11 / 1 rec)
In recent weeks, the Raiders had waited too long to get Waller involved but they went to him early against the Texans. On the second play of the game, he was targeted deep down the left sideline but the ball was thrown too far to the inside and Waller was unable to make a play on it. He was unable to come up with any of his five targets in the first 20 minutes of the game. Waller caught an 8-yard touchdown on a play the Raiders have used regularly and to great success. He lined up inline to the right of the formation and then worked his way back across the formation behind the OL after the snap and then caught a short dump off and sprinted to get inside the pylon. When a linebacker is responsible for him, it is hard for the defender to work through traffic while also matching Waller's elite speed and it allows Waller to get to open for easy completions. Waller had a 30-yard catch wiped out due to a very questionable offensive pass interference call on Hunter Renfrow who ran a rub route. Gruden challenged the call but it wasn't overturned. Waller was only targeted one time in the second half. The linebacker undercut the route and should have intercepted it when Carr threw it too low. Carr was just slightly off all day when targeting Waller.
2019 Week 7 vs GB (8 / 7 / 126 / 2 rec)
Waller had a monster game and it could have been much bigger. He caught two touchdowns and just narrowly missed having two or three more. He got behind the defense on a busted coverage for a 28-yard touchdown early in the second quarter but it was called back due to a holding penalty. His first actual catch came with a few minutes left in the first half, a beautiful 16-yard grab along the sideline. He went up over the defender and was able to toe tap along the sideline. The very next play he got behind the defense for a 48-yard catch. Only a shoestring tackle at the 3-yard line kept him out of the end zone. With the Raiders falling behind big early in the second half, Carr started peppering Waller with targets. He hit Waller on back-to-back identical short routes for 18 and 12 yards. A few plays later, he lined up in the slot and the Packers tried to cover him with a linebacker. He made the defender look bad with a nice stutter step move and was wide open in the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown, his first of the season. Waller had another red zone target in the middle of the end zone later in the second half but he got his feet tangled up with the defender and tripped. It allowed the trailing safety to intercept the pass in the end zone. Waller caught his second touchdown pass of the game in garbage time from Mike Glennon. He lined up out wide, caught the ball short in front of the corner and then spun out of the attempted tackle and into the end zone. It would be wise for the Raiders to get Waller involved earlier in games because he has proven impossible to cover and is emerging as the star of the offense.
2019 Week 5 vs CHI (5 / 4 / 39 / 0 rec)
Waller had a relatively quiet game and even suffered a rare drop on a quick post in the fourth quarter but played well overall. He had a monster block on Roquan Smith at the goal line that allowed DeAndre Washington to get into the end zone. He drove block Smith backwards into the end zone and even got a hand on the safety to keep him from getting into the play. Waller twice caught nine yard passes on comeback routes while lined up wide as a receiver. He had an eight-yard reception on a drag route that almost went for a huge gain. Waller put on a burst of speed and had a step on the defender but the trailing linebacker was able to make a diving tackle to trip Waller up as he turned upfield. Another few inches and Waller would have been off to the races.
2019 Week 4 vs IND (8 / 7 / 53 / 0 rec)
Waller continues to be the go-to target in the Raiders passing offense. He again led the team in targets and receptions. Aside from a bit of a drop on a short swing pass along the sideline that was thrown behind him and would have gone for no gain, Waller caught every ball thrown his way. His hands and pass catching technique have been nearly perfect. He consistently catches the ball way from his body and can hang on through contact. Unlike some past weeks, the Raiders didn't take their time getting him involved. He came across the formation on a play-action fake and caught a short dump off for 7 yards on the first play of the game. On a 3rd-and-6 on the opening drive, he went low and held on despite a big hit for another 7-yard reception. Waller made a 17-yard grab over the middle on a post route. He used his elite speed to take a short dump off for 15 yards, destroying the angle of the linebacker in coverage to turn what should have been a modest gain into a bigger play. Waller might have had a bigger day if Oakland hadn't jumped out to a big lead. After the relatively hot start, he was targeted just twice after halftime as the Raiders ran their four-minute offense.
2019 Week 3 vs MIN (14 / 13 / 134 / 0 rec, 1 / 7 / 0 rush)
On a dismal day for the Raiders, Waller's play was the lone bright spot. Oakland needs to get him involved earlier, however. His first target didn't come until midway through the second quarter, with the Raiders already in a 21-0 hole. His first catch went for 30 yards. He blocked for a second, then did a swim move to free himself to take the short dump off and exploded upfield, weaving his way to the big gain. He grabbed a quick slant for 9 yards on the next play. Waller had three more grabs in the two-minute drill before halftime, including an 11-yard grab over the middle. Seven of Waller's catches came in the fourth quarter with the Raiders trailing by 24 points or more. While the numbers were inflated due to extended garbage time, Waller still looked fantastic and is going to be a top weekly fantasy option moving forward. He was consistently making grabs with his hands extended far away from his body, displaying a huge catch radius. Waller showed toughness, making some difficult grabs over the middle in traffic. He also looked like the best athlete on the field. Linebackers can't run with him and his massive size makes him a mismatch against smaller defensive backs.
2019 Week 2 vs KC (7 / 6 / 63 / 0 rec)
Waller didn't get targeted until late in the second quarter. He caught a short crossing route and turned on the jets to get down the sideline for a 16-yard gain. His speed just pops off the screen on plays like this one. He showed off some impressive run after the catch skills on a 12-yard catch and run on third and long a few plays later. He caught it short, made the first man miss and nearly weaved his way for the first down. Waller again showed off his ability after the catch on a 7-yard gain. He hurdled a defender near the sideline to pick up the first down.
2019 Week 1 vs DEN (8 / 7 / 70 / 0 rec)
Waller was a clear beneficiary of Antonio Brown going AWOL and lived up to every bit of the offseason hype. He was on the field for every single snap and garnered a whopping 31% of the targets. The Raiders often used him as essentially the No. 2 WR, as he lined up detached from the line on 40% of the snaps. His first catch came lined up out wide. He caught a short comeback and then plowed through the defender to turn a modest gain into 11 yards. A couple plays later while again lined up out wide, Waller made an athletic 25-yard grab on a fade route down the sideline. Waller was able to use his elite speed to separate from a cornerback on a drag route to pick up a first down. Waller also got an easy catch for 8 yards on a screen pass. Waller looks like the 1B in the Raiders passing offense behind only Tyrell Williams.
Latest NewsRaiders | Darren Waller quiet once again (Fri Nov 8, 01:49 AM) - Oakland Raiders TE Darren Waller had three catches for 40 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 10. Our View: Waller's floor games are better than some tight end ceiling games, but this is getting worrisome as we watch Derek Carr spread the ball around for three straight weeks after leaning on Waller in his career best game in Week 7. Waller should be a TE1 in everyone's lineups against the Bengals, but unless he heats up, he's not a sure everyweek start going forward.
link to story Raiders | Two grabs for Darren Waller (Sun Nov 3, 09:27 PM) - Oakland Raiders TE Darren Waller caught both of his targets for 52 yards in a 31-24 win over the Detroit Lions in Week 9. link to story
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|11||vs Cincinnati Bengals|
|12||@ New York Jets|
|13||@ Kansas City Chiefs|
|14||vs Tennessee Titans|
|15||vs Jacksonville Jaguars|
|16||@ Los Angeles Chargers|
|17||@ Denver Broncos|